March 31, 2007

Apparently, one of the founders of Wikipedia is going to be starting a new website called Citizendium. This, like Wikipedia, will be an online encyclopedia. Further, the site will have articles written by laypeople. However, unlike Wikipedia, the articles will be checked by experts in each relevant field. To read more, go here.

Morality a Prerequisite for Doing Metaphysics

March 22, 2007

So says Maimonides:

It is clear, and proved by evidence, that moral virtues are a prerequisite of intellectual virtues. The attainment of true intellectual values, that is perfect intellectual ideas, is impossible except for a man whose moral character is properly trained and who possesses dignity and balance. There are many people whose native character and temper is wholly unsuitable for the attainment of perfection[1].

[1]The Guide of the Perplexed, trans. Chaim Rabin (Indianapolis, IN: Hackett Publishing Co., 1952; orig. 1190), 61.

Augustine & Anselm on Where to Turn for Knowledge of God

March 20, 2007

The writings of Saints Augustine and Anselm have proven to be especially formative for not only contemporary Christian thought, but for contemporary philosophical thought in general. Anselm’s so-called Ontological Argument alone has generated a staggering amount of discussion since its conception ten centuries ago[1]. It is among the most fascinating and controversial pieces of natural theology ever penned[2].

The interest of this post, however, is not in the Ontological Argument per se. Its purpose, rather, is to consider the origination of knowledge of God as seen in these two great thinkers. Specifically, we will see that given Augustine’s (Platonic) theory of knowledge (which was widely accepted in the Medieval period), it was experience—inward experience—that led to Anselm’s “proof” of God’s existence. This order is significant: turning inward for experience first, “proof” second; the proof merely reminds us, in this case of God’s existence. Read the rest of this entry »

Perfect Being Theology

March 15, 2007

According to Perfect Being Theology, we count a being as truly divine only if said being is maximally great.  That is to say, this being posesses the greatest array of compossible great-making properties.  The term “great-making properties” is generally used in the literature to signify those properties that it is intrisically better to have than to not have.  Perhaps Anselm had something like this in mind when he said of God that He is whatevert it is better to be than to not be.  

So perfect being theology offers us a way of thinking and talking about God.  But what exactly are those great-making properties? Read the rest of this entry »

Did you know that the Prime Minister of Norway is a Pedophile?

March 14, 2007

Well, at least this is true if Wikipedia is an authoritative source of information. Ryan Jordan, an editor and contributor to Wikidpedia was recently exposed and relieved of his editorial duties on Wikipedia. Apparently he had either edited or contributed to over 16,000 articles on the site. He claimed to be a tenured professor with doctorates in theology and canon law, he turned out to be a college dropout. Who are they going to let write for them next? Maybe they could hire Howard Stern to write a history of economics or religous history!

To see more info on this, go here.

The Law of Christ

March 13, 2007

1Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. 2Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. 3If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. 4Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else, 5for each one should carry his own load. 6Anyone who receives instruction in the word must share all good things with his instructor.

Read the rest of this entry »

Sex Trafficking in Cambodia

March 13, 2007

An organization called  Hagar Cambodia is doing a great job to help women who have been victims of trafficking, abuse, or rape in Cambodia.  The atrocities and sin that abound in such stories are truly shocking.  Over at the God’s politics blog, Elise Elzinga tells of her own encounter with this oppressive and wicked system: Read the rest of this entry »